Monday, 25 May 2009

Technology – An Amazing Thing with Some Unwanted Consequences

Hello everyone, I’m Fawaz one of the contributors to GreyedOut Magazine and I will be sharing my thoughts on this blog. So if you are interested in a lot of random and probably downright strange events and ideas then I think you might enjoy it. But don't worry, I will find a way to relate it to IT (somehow).

You may have been aware that GreyedOut Magazine had an Ipod Competition recently. There was a huge debate about what the question for the competition was going to be. Since my suggestion ended up on the cutting table, I have decided to share it with you, as I believe that it had a lot of potential. I felt that it would give anyone who came across it a moment to reflect and maybe give us some interesting anecdotes about the topic.

Right that's enough build up. The topic is: “What Manual Task did you enjoy doing before it was overtaken by Advances in Technology?” There were a lot of valid reasons why we couldn’t use this as a competition question but I think it’s an interesting subject worth considering. Think about it. There are a lot of things we used to do manually that will likely be considered a waste of time if you continued to do it the same way e.g Handwritten Letters, Dating (without checking some online profile), infact quite a number of regular things that are now available online like shopping, gaming, socializing, etc; Other things like voice and image manipulation have become big business meaning people can completely remodel themselves on what they feel is perfect and beautiful at the time. Whatever happened to natural beauty? More on that later.

As the topic of my blog suggests, I love technology and the convenience it brings to some of the things I highlighted above. The reason it bugs me is that I think people have gone too far to the technology side and now we all spend more time with our gadgets and other electronics than we do with one another. Instant messaging and texting ability is taking over from good conversational skills.

Personally, I enjoyed writing letters because I believe my handwriting is pretty good. You know, just short of being an artistic masterpiece worthy of display in an institution (ok, so I’m a little vain). Nowadays, all I get to do is pick a nice font after typing out my message just like I’m doing now. As a result, the fine art of calligraphy will continue to diminish because no one will bother trying to write nice when they can simply type it out and print it. Even secret admirers sending anonymous letters to their dream girls now type it out before doing all the other stuff that they do (don’t ask for details, I don’t know many secret admirers). Some even skip the whole letter stuff and just get it over with via email or text messages. This means the personal touch is being eroded from romance as well. As I mentioned before, emails and texts are good for getting a quick message across to friends or at work. I just wish people didn’t abandon the old style altogether.

Another thing I enjoyed was true beauty and talent. I realize that this can be a touchy subject but bear with me. Once upon a time, you could look at errrr… say a musician and say; “Wow, she is pretty and she sounds like an angel”. These days you’re more likely to say; “Wow, she is pretty. Her makeup artist must be a genius and her voice is probably augmented by some voice thingy-ma-jig technology. Obviously, I am generalizing here but you get the idea. You’re never sure if it’s implants or plastic surgery or natural endowment. Sometimes it’s not even the same person thanks to graphic manipulators. If you’ve ever used Photoshop you’ll know what I mean.

I can go on and on however, time and space constraints means that I have to conclude this blog entry by saying that technology is a wonderful thing. But unchecked, it can take away some of the essence of our individuality and humanity.

Fawaz Hamodu.

The Lenovo S12

Im still dreaming of the day when more Lenovo devices would be released for the Nigerian market, theres hope however after the recent release of the S10 here in Nigeria, but wait, the S12 has just been released today and its certainly a beauty. Its the first Netbook with an Nvidia ion chip, but the question is, "is it still a netbook", at 12.1" and the following spec, its certainly going to raise a discussion. WXGA (1,280 x 800) resolution LED-backlit panel, Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU (the one big "ugh"), 1GB of DDR2 memory, 160/250/320GB HDD options, an optional 6-cell battery, Ethernet jack, WiFi, Bluetooth, three USB 2.0 sockets, an ExpressCard slot, a 4-in-1 card reader and VGA / HDMI outputs. i believe its still a netbook because it still has a 1.6Ghz Atom processor which is netbook standard, but it certainly is a special netbook.

Abayomi Ogunwale receives his prize

Friday, 22 May 2009

Citizen i:virt Bluetooth watches

Bluethooth enabled watches are nothing new, but i kind of like these new i:virt watches from citizen with a retro digital look, and available in two versions, with a leather strap or a stainless steel one, these two will display emails, and give incoming call alerts and even receive the latest news highlights. but most of all i think they look cool in a geeky way,lol.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

10 questions with Abayomi Ogunwale

1.Tell us about yourself (Name, Occupation)

My name is Abayomi Ogunwale. I am a doctor, presently in residency training in obstetrics and gynaecology.

2.How did you hear about the competition?

Well, one of my literary friends on facebook wrote something on my wall about 'GreyedOut' magazine. i can't remember the exact context, but i got the name of the mag and assumed it was a literary mag for poems and short stories, so i copied out the URL and went to the site.

I liked the concept and while scrolling through the site and reading the articles, i saw the advert, checked the date and saw it was still ongoing.So i decided to answer the trivia.

3.Name three gadgets you cant live without and why?

My laptop.Well, it is my life.A one stop entertainment cum educative cum professional assistant.I need it for all i do.Write, browse, watch films when i am on call,for music and for medical presentations.

My phone.Without it, i am like a jeep stranded in the middle of a dessert.Useless and virtually incommunicado.

My Sony Walkman MP3 player.I love music and the mp3 player allows me to relax while i move about at work.Also it shuts out unwanted conversations and allows me brood over my ideas.

4.In your opinion which Telecommunications network in Nigeria has the best service?


in each question, choose one and tell us why.

5.Nokia or Samsung

Nokia.The victory of Durability over beauty.I love the sound production of the higher series of Samsung, but when you buy a Nokia, you buy a quality product that combines ruggedness with beauty and a touch of class.

6. HP or IBM

HP of course.To be honest ,i have never used an IBM product, except a flash drive.So i am somewhat biased and a little uninformed about IBM products.I have seen the Lenovo think pad and the idea pad.And,While you can say the graphics/screen resolution edges the Hp pavilion series for example.It is the way Hp has succeeded in weaving a sassy design with quality, durable hardware and a slimmer look that appeals to me. HP; again.

7.CD or Mp3

MP3.Space is scarce and speed is essential.MP3 delivers music whenever you need it and 'on the go' except maybe on a large scale or say in a car. But then a good sound box with surround effect will solve that problem.CD players are too big.

8 iphone or blackberry

Blackberry.I have used one before and i like the QWERT pad and the ease of typing texts, emails and pushing mails.But an Iphone is a fine toy, but a bad phone.Bad picture resolution and narrow virtual key pad.Maybe it surfs the net better, but my laptop is always there for that.Too many functions were cramped into the iphone.A blackberry is still my idea of a smartphone for the young executive who values his business above pleasure.

9.In your opinion why do Nigerians like Gadgets,is it for the functionality or for the cool factor?

The Cool factor. We are not technologically educated enough to fully grasp the full uses to which the gadgets we own can be employed.Most people do not even read the manuals that come with these gadgets.But Nigerians know what is in vogue and will want to be seen to be up to date.

10. what do you think about the growth of Nigerian based technology manufacturers.

Things are improving, but there is no infrastructural backbone to support the minimal growth.Little or no research, no innovation and a chronic shortage of trained hands.The problem with the Nigerian Based Technology manufacturers like Zinox for example is just the perennial Problem of Nigeria:They are long on promises but so short on delivery!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Napster's back! with $5 monthly subcription

Remember Napster, well their back with an official and legal service. the $5 subscription charge gives you unlimited on demand streaming access to Napster's full library of music stuffed with 7 million tracks from major and independent publishers.

Watches with E-ink displays by Phosphor

Dells new Latitude 2100 netbooks

The Dell Latitude 2100 has been designed with the education sector in mind, and has many child friendly features, the rubber handle strap, coulourful design, antimicrobial keyboard and touchscreen display. one interesting addition is the availability of a central docking station that can house up to 24 of these netbooks and have just a single power cable and ehthernet port.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Veda computers

Veda technology recently introduced a new line of computers to the Nigerian market. Their products show a lot of promise, assembled in Nigeria, but with quality and service as a major priority. i would really like to have some hands on time with these machines.